Research 101 was a series of six weekly workshops (held from February to April 2018) to discuss research and ethics in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). These workshops emerged out of a wider conversation on ethics in cultural production (e.g. research, media, artmaking) within the DTES convened by Hives for Humanity and supported by Simon Fraser University’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Research 101 was but one of several components of this wider work to gather local knowledge and expertise on community ethics in the DTES into materials that could help empower the community.
Six to thirteen representatives from several diverse DTES organizations met each week to discuss their experiences with research, the wider context of research in the DTES, and community expectations for more ethical research practice. These guidelines are based on our discussions, and build on the work of the many other organizations, communities and individuals who have gone before us in expressing what it means for university researchers (and other people coming from outside the DTES community) to treat communities like the DTES with the respect and dignity they deserve, and expect. While no document or set of principles can truly represent the entire Downtown Eastside community in all its diversity, Research 101 participants and manifesto co-authors included peer leaders in a wide variety of DTES organizations (e.g. Hives for Humanity, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, PACE Society, Vancouver Native Health Society, Spikes on Bikes, Sex Workers United Against Violence, BC Association of People On Methadone, Culture Saves Lives, Illicit, Carnegie Community Action Project, and the BC Centre on Substance Use).